Objective: Risk factors like hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia and smoking contribute to the pathogenesis of atherothrombosis. We investigated whether the multiplicity of risk factors for atherothrombosis is associated with leukocyte activation.
Methods: We examined the availability of CD11b/CD18 antigen on the surface of peripheral blood polymorphonuclear leukocytes and monocytes in patients with acute ischemic heart and brain conditions.
Results: There was a highly significant (p<0.00001) increment in the availability of the CD11b/CD18 antigen on the surface of the polymorphonuclear leukocytes in patients with multiple (2 or more) vascular risk factors [mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) +/- SD, 210+/-102] as opposed to individuals with none or 1 risk factor for atherothrombosis (MFI 159+/-73). Similar results were observed on the monocytes: 309+/-151 and 235+/-97, respectively (p<0. 00001).
Conclusion: The multiplicity of risk factors for atherothrombosis is associated with the up-regulation of CD11b/CD18 antigen on the surface of peripheral blood polymorphonuclear leukocytes and monocytes, suggesting the presence of an increased inflammatory response and leukocyte activation in these individuals.